With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Friday, July 4, 2014

Eric Holder turned into a political hack for Rahm

Shame on Attorney General Eric Holder for allowing himself and his office to be used to kickstart Rahm Emanuel's re-election campaign. Holder was in town Wednesday to hail the “amazing” turnaround in school safety since the 2009 beating death of Fenger Academy student Derrion Albert — even after 50 school closings.
“There are a lot of great things going on in Chicago. There is an organized, a galvanized community led by a great mayor that has led to reductions in all the viable statistics — really amazing reductions,” Holder said during a roundtable at police headquarters.
What a bunch of horsebleep! Remember, Rahm is the same guy who, as Obama's chief of staff, told Holder to "STFU' when it came to drafting any gun-control legislation. It may be borderline legal for a cabinet guy to campaign for politicians, but it's shady, as Holder well knows. Especially when an administration like Rahm's is so notorious for corruption and with Holder's Justice Dept. possibly having to carry out investigations an prosecutions.

Yes, "galvanized community" indeed. It's galvanized alright, galvanized against the mayor's school closings and against his failure to control the growing gun violence epidemic. I'm certain Holder has seen Rahm's single-digit approval ratings on the south and west sides.

Emanuel and Holder both claimed that the just-ended school year was the "safest on record" in the seven years since the Chicago Public Schools started tracking safety.

What Holder failed to mention or worse, failed to notice was, thousands of black and Latino children having to navigate through cordons of "safe passage" guards just to get to their receiving schools an the psychological impact that has on students and families. Holder might have pointed out that there was never many in-school shootings. Even Albert wasn't killed in his school. Schools have always been a safe haven for kids, especially in neighborhoods lacking in jobs and after-school programs. Another reason why Rahm's mass school closings may be a great contributor to the dramatic rise in gun violence this year. It's on the streets, not just in the hour preceding or following school, where these same children, thousand of them afraid to go out and play after school, are facing the threat of gun violence every day, primarily in the very neighborhoods where the mayor has closed their schools.

Holder might have also noticed that Rahm and his top cop Garry McCarthy have been caught tinkering with the crime stats to try and make the city's gun violence pandemic look more palatable to voters.So whatever numbers he and the mayor are tossing around are hardly worthy of serious consideration.  Even with the tinkering and political spinning, there no question that Chicago remains among the worst cities in the nation when it comes to shootings. The shooting numbers this year are even higher than last and continue to rise during the summer months.

Hardly "amazing", Mr. Holder.

Shades of 2010 when Sec. of Ed Arne Duncan went out on the stump for then-mayor Adrian Fenty (and Michelle Rhee) in D.C. Duncan had no juice in D.C. communities and couldn't deliver for Fenty. I think the same applies to Holder here in Chicago. But whether Rahm wins or loses, Holder has denigrated himself and his office on many levels by singling Rahm out for  undue praise on the violence issue as the campaign season approaches.

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